The maker of software to thwart unauthorized online file-sharing has obtained technology that can scan video files and block computer users from making copies.

Audible Magic Corp. said it plans to incorporate the technology it has licensed, dubbed Motional Media ID, into its suite of anti-piracy tools early next year.

The rise of video-sharing sites like Google Inc.'s (GOOG) YouTube has boosted demand for better ways to police online video.

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Apart from amateur video clips, often shot with video-capable digital cameras or mobile phones, YouTube and similar sites are rife with unauthorized clips from TV shows, movies and music videos.

Motional Media ID — created by a former technology executive with the Recording Industry Association of America — can scan any type of moving video image and identify its content in seconds, the Los Gatos-based company said.

To scan a video, the system looks for signature vectors — such as a unique digital fingerprint — and compares them with vectors stored in a database.

If the video turns out to be from a movie or other copyright material, the technology gives the film studio or video owner the ability to predetermine whether it can be copied.

Until now, Audible Magic has been scanning only the audio, even for video files.

"These capabilities will enable a new period of control for legitimate rights-holders in digital media," said Vance Ikezoye, Audible Magic's chief executive.

Audible Magic did not name any customers who will be using the system.

YouTube has said it is developing technology that will streamline the process by which copyright owners identify their content on the site and then determine whether they want to have it removed.

The technology, expected to be in place by the end of this year, will scan only the audio and compare it against databases.